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Study Tips

Study Tips for High School Quizzes, Tests and Finals

1. Study Alone

Unless you've got a couple of friends who are super-serious about getting down to business, stay away from group study sessions because they tend to get off-topic pretty quickly. Save the social time till after you've handed in your test.

2. Create Your Perfect Study Area

The place where you study should be quiet, comfortable and free from distractions. Go to your room, close the door and get rid of as many distractions as possible-like music, television, and even the internet and your phone. If you don't have your own room that you can sneak away to, consider studying at the library instead.

3. Get it All Out

Your study material, that is. Before you dig in, make sure you have all your books, notes, study guides and writing utensils in front of you. Don't give yourself another excuse to get up and rummage around.

4. Turn Your Notes into Flash Cards

Now that you've got all your notes in front of you, open up a pack of index cards. As you read through the important facts, rewrite them in Q&A form on the cards. For instance: to study historical facts, write the historical fact on one side of the card and the key details on the other side. To study geometry formulas, write the name of the formula on one side and the formula itself on the other side.

5. Snack Healthy While You Study

If you want to stay sharp while you study, stay away from junk food. Instead, snack on studying-friendly food like dark leafy greens, whole grains, peanut butter, milk and seafood. Feeling sluggish? Caffeine or energy drinks won't help you in the long run. Get your energy boost instead by eating a banana or an apple.

6. Narrow it Down

If you try to study every single thing your teacher's ever said, you'll go crazy. Instead, focus on the most important topics. If you're not sure what those are, read the study guide (if there is one), or ask your classmates. Once you've nailed down the important stuff, if there's still time left before the test, you can move onto the finer details.

7. Take a Break

Your brain can only take so much hard work at one time. For every hour that you study, take about 15 minutes to do something mindless, like taking a walk, listening to music or playing a computer game. (You can even take a 15-minute nap, if you're confident you can wake yourself up at the end of it.) It'll keep your stress level down and give your brain a chance to let all that information sink in.

8. Put Yourself to the Test

Once you've got your set of flash cards, test yourself with them. Of you don't trust yourself not to cheat, give the cards to your parents and have them test you. Don't stop until you've made it through the whole stack without any mistakes. And be sure to bring your flash cards to school with you on the day of the test: you'll be amazed at how much more you can retain if you run through the cards right before your teacher hands out the test.

Useful Websites and Articles

Khahn Academy- A donor sponsored, not for profit website designed to help students learn what they want, when they want, at their own pace.

HippoCampus: Homework & Study Help- The goal of HippoCampus is to provide high-quality. multi-media content on general education subjects to high school and college students free of charge. The website uses Adobe Flash, make sure you have Adobe Flash Player 7.0 or higher installed on your system.

Simple Exam Preparation Tips & Test-Taking Strategies (from Dartmouth College)

Test Taking Tips to Help you Test Taking and Study Skills

Test Taking Strategies for all Tests

1.      Bring at least 2 pens/pencils with good erasers.

2.      Bring a watch to the test so that you can better pace yourself.

3.      Keep a positive attitude throughout the whole test and try to stay relaxed.

4.      Keep your eyes on your own paper; you don’t want to appear to be cheating.

5.      When you first get the test, look over the entire test so that you know how to budget your time.

6.      Do the easiest problems first. 

7.      Don’t stay on a problem that you are stuck on, especially when time is a factor.

8.      Do the problems that have the greatest point values first.

9.      Ask your teacher for clarification if you don’t understand what they are asking on the test.

10.  Write legibly.  If the grader can’t read what you wrote, they’ll most likely mark it wrong.

11.  Always read the whole question carefully.  Don’t make assumptions about what the question might be.

12.  If you don’t know the answer, skip it.  Go on with the rest of the test and come back to it later.  Other parts of the test may have some information that will help you out with that question.

13.  Don’t worry if others finish before you.  Focus on the test in front of you.

14.  If you have time left when you’re finished, make sure you have answered all of the questions.

15.  Double check to make sure that you put your first and last name on the test.

What type of test are your taking?

MULTIPLE CHOICE Questions

  • As you are reading the questions, try to come up with answers in your head before you look at the choices.
  • If you are not sure of an answer, eliminate the choices you know are incorrect by crossing them out.
  • If two choices are similar or opposite, one of them is probably the correct answer.

TRUE/FALSE Questions

  • Statements with always, never, every, all, and none in them are usually false.
  • Statements with usually, often, sometimes, most, and many in them are usually true.
  • Read True/False questions very carefully. One word will often determine whether a statement is True or False.

ESSAY Questions

  • Read each question and then start with the easiest one.
  • Note how many points each essay is worth, and adjust the time you spend on each question.
  • Before you write, brainstorm key words, ideas and points that you want to cover in your essay.
  • Begin your essay by restating the question & telling the reader what they can expect from your essay.
  • Write legibly and use complete sentences.
  • If you don't know the answer to the question, take a couple minutes to write down what you do know about the subject. You may hit on something and get partial credit.

OPEN BOOK Tests

  • Have your notes already highlighted so that important information is easy to locate.
  • Put sticky notes, or bookmarks in your textbook to help you find important information.